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Baroness Nicol: My Lords, I too support the amendment, which has evolved from the amendment moved in Committee. I hope that the Minister will not apply to this amendment the formula that he applied to the previous amendment; that the Committee version was too strong but that today's version is too weak. The present form of words should be acceptable to the Minister.

I suggest that it is helpful for us all to remember that the Sandford principle is not "conservation has priority over recreation"; it is that, "where those two purposes cannot be reconciled conservation should come first".

The guidance in the circular makes it clear that the true Sandford principle is what the Government desire. I share the concern that at present, the legislation captures only part of the Sandford principle, thereby changing its meaning. The guidance and the legislation are at odds with each other. I hope that this is a drafting point and not a disagreement about objectives, and I hope also that the Minister will agree to change the legislation accordingly.

4.30 p.m.

Lord Greenway: My Lords, I warmly support the amendment and I agree with everything that has been said. I may have been the first to raise the question on Second Reading. Since that time, I am delighted to see that it has gathered support from all sides of the House. I hope that the Minister will see fit to accept the amendment. It is important that the Sandford principle should be enshrined in the Bill.

Lord Vinson: My Lords, I support the amendment because it is in general sympathy with a matter which I

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raised earlier, in the sense that, as I read it, its intention is that any differences should be reconciled on the ground in a sensible one-to-one manner before being blown up into a major conflict between the two parties.

Viscount Ullswater: My Lords, in Committee, I explained that the Sandford principle, now enshrined in Clause 59, has been policy for over 20 years and that we believe that it continues to stand the parks in good stead. I am not aware that the application of the principle, set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 7, has caused any great difficulties or undue concern among those who have to live with its consequences.

I believe that every opportunity should be taken for negotiation and mediation before the Sandford principle is applied. Managing the parks, and accommodating the many different interests which are reflected in them, is an ongoing process. I appreciate the wish of some of your Lordships that the principle should not come into play too soon—that was the spirit of the intervention made by the noble Baroness, Lady Nicol—in the process of accommodation; but neither should it come in so late in the day that all the participants have exhausted themselves in seeking to find an accommodation where none is to be found.

If Amendment No. 182, introduced by my noble friend Lord Norrie, were to be accepted, how would the parties involved demonstrate that an issue cannot be reconciled with a little bit more management? If only they had had another meeting, a further discussion, an extra site visit, perhaps they might have reached an accommodation. Who decides when the point has been reached when a particular issue cannot be reconciled through management? Although I understand and sympathise with the intention underlying this amendment, I fear that it could lead to the premature abandonment of the negotiating process and I therefore ask my noble friend to withdraw the amendment.

Lord Norrie: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his reply. I am afraid that I am not persuaded by his arguments. I still believe that the clause as drafted represents a significant change to the Sandford principle but I shall study carefully the Minister's words and seek to return to the matter at Third Reading. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Viscount Ullswater moved Amendment No. 183:


After Clause 60, insert the following new clause:

National Park authorities in Wales

(" .—(1) Where a National Park planning board has been constituted for the area of any particular existing National Park in Wales, the Secretary of State may exercise his power under section 60 above to establish a National Park authority in relation to that National Park by making an order under that section designating for the body corporate constituted as that board a date earlier than 31st March 1997 on which that body—
(a) shall cease to be a National Park planning board, and
(b) shall be constituted the National Park authority in relation to that National Park,
without affecting its corporate status (and an order made under or by virtue of that section may make provision re-naming that body accordingly).

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(2) Any order under—
(a) paragraph 3A of Schedule 17 to the 1972 Act (special planning boards), or
(b) section 2(1B) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (joint planning boards),
relating to the body corporate constituted as the National Park planning board in question shall have effect on and after the designated date for that body as an order under section 60 above relating to that body in its capacity as the National Park authority in relation to the National Park in question.
(3) For the purposes of any order establishing a National Park authority under section 60 above by virtue of subsection (1) above, or any order which, by virtue of subsection (2) above, has effect as an order under that section—
(a) the requirements of paragraph 2(3) of Schedule 7 to this Act with respect to consultation with councils for principal areas shall, by virtue of the establishment of the National Park planning board, be deemed to have been complied with as respects any provision of the order;
(b) in the case of any member of the National Park planning board immediately before the designated date who was holding that office by virtue of his appointment as such by the Secretary of State under and in accordance with paragraph 11 of Schedule 17 to the 1972 Act (which requires prior consultation), the appointment shall, on and after the designated date, have effect for the remainder of the period for which it was made as an appointment as a member of the National Park authority made by the Secretary of State in accordance with paragraph 3(1) of Schedule 7 to this Act;
(c) in the case of any other member of the National Park planning board immediately before the designated date who is on that date a member of a principal council for an area which includes the whole or any part of the National Park in question, his appointment as a member of that board shall, on and after the designated date, have effect for the remainder of the period for which it was made as an appointment as a local authority member of the National Park authority made in accordance with paragraph 2 of that Schedule; and
(d) any other requirement, whether statutory or otherwise, which must be complied with in connection with the establishment of a National Park authority shall be deemed to have been complied with by virtue of the establishment of the National Park planning board;
and, except as provided by paragraphs (b) and (c) above, no person who is a member of the National Park planning board immediately before the designated date shall, by virtue of the order, become a member of the National Park authority.
(4) The functions of a National Park planning board shall include the duty to take such steps as it considers necessary to enable it (that is to say, the body corporate constituted as that board) on being constituted the National Park authority in relation to the National Park in question by an order made by virtue of subsection (1) above, to perform its functions as a National Park authority on and after the designated date; and the functions conferred on such a board by this subsection—
(a) shall be exercisable before (as well as on or after) 1st April 1996; and
(b) are in addition to any other functions which are exercisable by such a board before that date by virtue of paragraph 13 of Schedule 17 to the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994.
(5) The functions of a principal council for an area which includes the whole or any part of the area of a National Park planning board shall include the duty to take such steps as it considers necessary to enable the body corporate constituted as that board, on being constituted the National Park authority in relation to the National Park in question by an order made by virtue of subsection (1) above,

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to perform those functions which would, apart from the order, be exercisable by a principal council but which will become functions of that body, as the National Park authority, on the designated date.
(6) Where the Secretary of State—
(a) has taken any steps with a view to, or otherwise in connection with, the establishment of a National Park planning board for the area of an existing National Park in Wales ("the proposed board"), but
(b) decides not to proceed with the establishment of the proposed board and to establish instead a National Park authority in relation to that National Park ("the proposed authority"), and
(c) the proposed authority is, or is to be, established before 31st March 1997,
the doing of anything by or in relation to the Secretary of State (other than the making by the Secretary of State of an instrument of a legislative character) with a view to, or otherwise in connection with, establishing the proposed board shall be treated, as respects the proposed authority, as the doing of any corresponding or reasonably similar thing falling to be done for the purposes of, or otherwise in connection with, the establishment of that authority.
(7) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (6) above, in any case falling within paragraphs (a) to (c) of that subsection—
(a) any consultation with a principal council after 15th December 1994 by the Secretary of State as respects the proposed board (whether or not required by or under any enactment) shall be deemed, as respects the proposed authority, to have been carried out for the purposes of the consultation with councils for principal areas required by paragraph 2(3) of Schedule 7 to this Act;
(b) anything done by or in relation to the Secretary of State for the purposes of the consultation required by paragraph 11 of Schedule 17 to the 1972 Act (appointment of members by Secretary of State) preparatory to the appointment of a person as a member of the proposed board shall be deemed, as respects the proposed authority, to have been done for the purposes of the consultation required by paragraph 3(1) of Schedule 7 to this Act preparatory to the appointment of that person as a member of that authority;
(c) anything done by or in relation to the Secretary of State (other than the making by the Secretary of State of an instrument of a legislative character) for the purposes of, or otherwise in connection with, any other requirement, whether statutory or otherwise, of a consultative or procedural nature—
(i) which relates to a National Park planning board, and
(ii) for which there is a corresponding or reasonably similar requirement which relates to a National Park authority,
shall be treated, as respects the proposed authority, as done for the purposes of, or otherwise in connection with, that other corresponding or reasonably similar requirement.
(8) Section 54 of the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 (powers to make incidental, consequential, transitional or supplemental provision) shall have effect as if this Part were contained in that Act, except that subsection (2) (e) of that section shall have effect as if this Part were contained in an Act passed in the same Session as that Act.
(9) In this section—
"the designated date", in the case of any body corporate constituted as a National Park planning board which becomes, or is to become, a National Park authority by virtue of this section, means the date designated by virtue of subsection (1) above in the order relating to that body;
"existing National Park" means a National Park in respect of which there was in force on 15th December 1994 an order under section 5 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 (designation of areas as National Parks);

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"National Park planning board" means—
(a) a special planning board constituted by order under paragraph 3A of Schedule 17 to the 1972 Act to discharge, as respects the area of a National Park in Wales, the functions to which Part I of that Schedule applies, or
(b) a joint planning board constituted by order under subsection (1B) of section 2 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for a united district comprising the area of a National Park in Wales.").

The noble Viscount said: My Lords, in speaking to Amendment No. 183, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 192, 193, 194, 206, 221, 268 and 289A in my name.

The amendments introduce the conversion power in respect of the national parks in Wales which I confirmed in Committee to the noble Lord, Lord Elis-Thomas, would be introduced at this stage of the Bill.

The establishing of national park authorities in Wales will take place in the context of the comprehensive reorganisation of local government at 1st April 1996, under the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, which will itself require the establishment of new national park bodies. For that reason, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Wales included in the 1994 Act provisions for the establishment of planning boards for the Welsh national parks. Consultation about the establishment of those boards has already started. My right honourable friend has, however, confirmed that, if this Bill is successful, national park authorities will be established to keep the Welsh parks in line with those in England.

My right honourable friend proposes to establish national park authorities in Wales during the autumn of 1995 to enable them to prepare for taking up their responsibilities in the following April. However, depending on the timing of Royal Assent for this Bill, it may be necessary first to establish planning boards and to convert them to national park authorities before 1st April 1996. In practice, it is likely that conversion will be effected some months before that date in order to enable a levy to be issued to the new constituent local authorities. The amendments allow that conversion to take place without affecting the corporate status of the bodies concerned.

The planning boards are in many ways similar to the national park authorities which we are now discussing. The amendments allow the work now being carried out for their preparation to count as though it was being done in preparation for the establishment of national park authorities. That will be so whether my right honourable friend is able to proceed directly with establishing a national park authority or whether he has to establish a planning board first and to convert it at a later date to a national park authority.

The amendments are limited to the three existing national parks in Wales and are further limited to cases where a national park authority is established for those parks prior to 31st March 1997. They will avoid the duplication of work and unnecessary upheaval for the parks themselves.

The amendments vest certain order making powers in my right honourable friend to facilitate the conversion arrangements outlined in these amendments. I have

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written to my noble friend Lord Rippon of Hexham, in his role as Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee on Delegated Legislation, explaining fully the powers sought and the reasons for them. I beg to move.


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